Kirsty Gibbon went from first class degree to the Premier League after joining the physiotherapy team at Middlesbrough Football Club.
Kirsty, 24, who graduated from Teesside University with a First Class BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy in 2013, took on a full-time role with the Premier League club towards the end of last year.
She previously worked in physiotherapy with South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Durham County Cricket Club, while also having a part-time role with Boro.
Kirsty said: “I have been involved with Middlesbrough Football Club for around three years through my part-time role, but I switched to full-time in November last year and currently work with the club’s Academy.”
Her role involves working with the Academy’s young players who may one day go on to join the professional ranks of the club’s first team.
“They’re the players of the future, so it’s great to have a role in their development,” said Kirsty.
“It’s brilliant working at the club at such as exciting time. I was at the final game of the season when they made it to the Premier League and the atmosphere was amazing.”
Originally from Chesterfield, Kirsty relocated several times during her childhood as her dad was in the forces, so she had no geographical pull towards Teesside when choosing where to study for her degree.
“I chose Teesside because of the course and I soon realised it was the best thing I could have done. I felt part of a tight-knit community and ended up with a first class degree. I really enjoyed it, I was involved in the sports teams and the Students’ Union and would definitely recommend Teesside.
“The placements I completed during the degree really prepared me for my professional role, as we are able to put into practice everything we are learning. The course teaches all the core elements of being a physiotherapist and I chose to specialise in MSK, or musculoskeletal.”
As a student she completed placements with professional rugby clubs across Yorkshire, including Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers.
“I love rugby, but I have being playing football since I lived in Cyprus and Germany during childhood. I enjoy working with sportspeople as it’s exciting to play a part in helping them to reach their potential. Working in sport might seem glamorous, but it involves a lot of hard work from so many people.
Teesside University is an official partner of Middlesbrough Football Club with the two organisations working together to promote the education and business expertise for which the University is renowned to national and international audiences, as well as the ambition and sporting excellence of the football club. Plans are also in place to enhance the learning experience of the University’s students through engagement with all aspects of life at the Club.
Teesside University still has places available for undergraduate study in a range of courses. More information about how to apply can be found at www.tees.ac.uk/clearing.